Get simple tips and tricks to keep Christmas greenery fresh and fragrant to enjoy throughout the holiday season, without the mess.

Bring greenery garland and fresh Christmas wreaths into your home for the holidays without fear of them drying out prematurely.

A fresh greenery garland over the entry into a white dining room.
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I have long preferred decorating with fresh Christmas greenery for the holidays. Bringing the outdoors in brings your home to life, adds a lovely and festive fragrance and eliminates the need to store decor.

I love chatting about Christmas greenery and garlands with you. I’ve got a great round up of Pine Garland and Cedar Garlands too, where it’s easy to source both fresh and faux garlands for your home!

Fresh Christmas greens and lights over a kitchen window

You can also learn how to make a preserved boxwood wreath, how to enhance a wreath from the grocery store, make a DIY Christmas Wreath and create this winter centerpiece here!

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few ways to prolong the life of our fresh greenery garland, wreaths, and stems for as long as possible.

Today, we’re going to round up the best products, tips and tricks to keep your fresh holiday greenery fresh for longer.

Fresh Christmas greenery tied onto a door frame with a ribbon.

Why You’ll Love Fresh Christmas Greenery

  • Fragrance
  • Often less expensive than faux
  • A more natural drape
  • Feels luxurious and special

For me, it’s worth a little extra effort to incorporate live Christmas wreaths, live greenery garlands and stems of greens into our decor. With these easy steps, you can extend the life of your greens and enjoy them all season.

Fresh Christmas garlands on a stairwell in a white entryway of a home.

Tips

  • Buy the freshest greens you can find.
  • Soak in water overnight before hanging.
  • Use an anti-desiccant spray (also called an anti transparent) to help seal in the moisture.
  • You can also purchase the anti-desiccant product as a concentrate, which can be mixed with your water prior to soaking your fresh greens. I have found this to be less messy than the spray bottle of Wilt Pruf and perhaps even more thorough, ensuring that all the greenery is covered.
  • Mist your fresh greenery garlands and wreaths every 2-3 days for added moisture.
Fresh Christmas greenery tied with a bow onto a brass cabinet pull.

How to Keep Live Christmas Wreaths Fresh

  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Before hanging, submerge live wreaths in enough water to feed the cut stems overnight. This helps them absorb as much moisture as possible before using.
  3. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture.
  4. To maintain, spritz the back of the wreath with water so the cut stems can drink the water. This will retain its fragrance and extend its life. You can also spritz the front of live wreaths and garlands.
  5. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents. Dry, hot air will dry out your live greens more than anything else! 
A fresh Christmas wreath in a half bathroom with white walls

Keep Live Garlands Fresh

  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture. Don’t skip this step! 
  3. Spritz the garland with water every 2-3 days to extend the life. I like to use this glass spray bottle.
  4. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents.
Fresh Christmas greenery garland over an entryway in a cream kitchen.

Note: Some garlands even look prettier as they dry! Stair garland has always been my favorite to integrate. It’s so dramatic and dresses up stairs so beautifully. We usually enjoy our greenery garland on our stairs for 3-4 weeks!

Fresh Christmas garlands on a stairwell in a white entryway of a home.

How to Keep Christmas Greens Fresh

A favorite trick of mine is to simply purchase long fresh stems of holiday greenery that I can incorporate in vases and containers throughout my home.

In fact, you can use loose Christmas greens anywhere! I tie them onto chandeliers, our kitchen island lanterns, onto brass door knobs, and so much more.

Fresh Christmas greenery tied with a bow onto a glass door knob.
  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with pruners and place in water that is room temperature.
  3. If they are going into a fresh Christmas garland or wreath, gently crush the exposed stem with a small hammer. Allow the stems to drink water for a few hours after cutting them before integrating them. Christmas greenery tied with a pink bow on a marble countertop.
  4. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture.
  5. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents and the fireplace.
  6. If you have your greenery stems in a vase of water, be sure to change the water every second day. Clean, fresh water is ideal for extending the life of holiday greenery stems. 
  7. Spritz the fresh Christmas greens with water every 2-3 days to extend the life. I like to use this glass spray bottle.
A bowl of silver jingle bells and fresh greenery on a wood table

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best greenery to use indoors?

Pine, fir, cedar and English holly tend to do better indoors than other greens. Furthermore, boxwood is often a great option for fresh greenery garlands and wreaths, because it dries beautifully and tends to preserve in place without dropping.

How long will Christmas greenery last?

Indoors, live Christmas wreaths and fresh greenery garlands can last two to three weeks when properly cared for. Outdoors, in cooler climates they can last much longer.

A fresh greenery garland over the entry into a white dining room.

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Julie! This is super helpful! I was wondering, when you give the Quick Tip on mixing the anti-desiccant concentrate with the water prior to soaking, what do you recommend for the ratio on that and how long do you typically let it soak in that mixture? Thanks!

  2. Such great suggestions here! So to confirm, if I get the concentrate, I should soak the greenery in water with this, but then I do NOT need to spray subsequently? Thanks!

  3. Julie,

    Also, do you know what the blue spikey things are in the wreath? I just received a bouquet of flowers yesterday and it had those blue spikey things in it~~and I love them.  Have never seen them before? Is it thistle?

    1. Yes, thistle! I love integrating it into arrangements. Whole Foods usually offers it and on occasion, Trader Joe’s. Enjoy!

  4. Julie,

    I love this post! We always use fresh greens and don’t put them up until 2-3 weeks before Christmas-because they do dry out.  When we first get them, I submerge them in our pool until ready to use.  Since it’s too cold to swim, it’s a good use for all that water!!!
    Sometimes I do mix artificial in with the fresh ones, just to add bulk.  Never thought to use an anti-dissecant spray.  Thanks for all the great suggestions!